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Heidelberg Hotels and Youth Hostel

From: Heidelberg, Germany

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ABOVE: The Kulturbrauerei includes a state-of-the-art microbrewery (left), a restored beer hall (right), and comfortable bedrooms around two courtyards.

Hotels

There's no shortage of hotels in Heidelberg, but you'll need to give some thought to where you want to stay. Unless you're spending only one night in Heidelberg and have an early train the next day, we'd suggest looking for a room in the Altstadt, or Old Town, which is more atmospheric than newer parts of the city and more convenient to sightseeing. Book ahead, especially if you're visiting in high season, since most hotels aren't very large and Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination.

photo - Heidelberg Kongress und Tourimus GmbHIn the higher-priced category (ca. 150-200 euros), the Romantik-Hotel Zum Ritter St-Georg is hard to beat. The gabled stone hotel was built as a cloth dealer's mansion in 1592, and the location couldn't be better: It's right on the Hauptstrasse in the pedestrian zone, where it faces the Heiliggeistkirche. (If you're arriving by car, you can park in the public garage on the Kornmarkt just up the hill.)

photoWe can personally recommend the Kulturbrauerei, a comfortable and architecturally interesting modern hotel in a renovated historic brewery. The moderate rates include a first-rate buffet breakfast with exceptional croissants in an atmospheric dining room of the Kulturbrauerei's beer hall. (Tip: If you're arriving by train, take the S-Bahn from Mannheim or the Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof to the Karlstor station, which is only a short walk from the hotel's location near the eastern end of the Altstadt.)

The Kulturbrauerei's owners have another highly-regarded hotel and restaurant, the Weisser Bock, which is in a side street off the Hauptstrasse in the middle of the Altstadt.

photoA more exotic choice is the centrally located Hip-Hotel, where each room's decor is matched to a theme such as the Moorish "Marrakesch" or "Havanna" (which has a larger-than-life image of Che Guevara looming over the bed).

Down by the river, Zur Alten Brücke has views of the Neckar and the Old Bridge. In summer, you can eat breakfast outdoors in the hotel courtyard. Another hotel near the bridge is the budget-priced Goldener Hecht, which comes highly recommended by the German-language Marco Polo Heidelberg guide. Schnookeloch, a long-established "Studentenlokal" and tavern, also has hotel rooms above its restaurand and beer garden in the Haspelgasse near the Alten Brücke.

For more hotel listings, see Venere: Heidelberg (which has a handful of hotels at discount rates) and the Heidelberg tourist office's Web site.

Hostel

The Youth Hostel Heidelberg (a.k.a. the Jugendherberge) is near the zoo in Neuenheimer Feld, across the river from Heidelberg. You can get there on foot--allow 40 minutes--or with a 10-minute bus ride from the main railway station. The hostel has 485 beds in 127 rooms, offers half- or full board on request, and welcomes guests of all ages. Six of the rooms are equipped for handicapped guests, with wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers.

Next page: Restaurants, pubs, cafés




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